Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From (...) classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
The novelty in Rosenzweig’s new ways of thinking lies in the fact that, unlike the traditional view, in his thought philosophy is the discipline containing a subjective element, whereas religion is more objective since it is founded on revelation. These complementary differences help the philosopher rethink Judaism and Jewish identity in the context of the spiritual crisis of the secularized Judaism of his time. Starting with the analysis of this reconstruction of philosophy, this text attempts to present a (...) balanced perspective on Rosenzweig’s vision of the relation between Judaism and Christianity. We will not single out the common elements or those that separate these two monotheist religions; setting Judaism and Christianity on the same level is considered to be a compensatory gesture towards Judaism and Jewish tradition. There is in Rosenzweig a significant moment of approach toward Christianity, especially to a Christianity without Christ, but Rosenzweig opts for a different solution, that of building a new philosophy based on Judaism. Moshe Idel’s analysis suggests that it is the Kabbalistic mysticism that Rosenzweig redefines in order to propose a new way of thought based on both philosophy and religion. Thus, Rosenzweig gives new meaning to the balance of divine and human in the field of religion. (shrink)
This paper attempts to analyze the place that Christianity occupies within the framework of Martin Buber’s thought and to present some of the arguments brought by Buber in order to support his conception regarding Christianity. There is a great number of books, articles and studies belonging to Buber that touch, on different levels, the topic proposed, nevertheless, the most significant for this paper is Buber’s book Two types of faith, intended as a comparative analysis of Judaism and (...)Christianity. Buber’s perception on Christianity is characterized by the dualistic perspective that defines his whole philosophy. The two paradigms that represent the basis of Buber’s entire thought (the world of Thou and the world of It) are to be found at the basis of “the duality of faith” he postulates. Thus, the analysis will be carried on two different levels, which, however sometimes share common elements. (shrink)
In one of the essays in his recent book on Christianity, La déclosion (2005), Nancy discusses the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. Nancy opens this discussion with a reference to Lyotard’s book on this relationship: Un trait d’union (1993). Both Lyotard and Nancy examine a very early figure in the emergence of Christianity from Judaism—whereas Lyotard focuses on the epistles of Paul, Nancy reads the epistle of James. Lyotard concludes that the hyphen in the expression (...) ‘Judeo-Christian’ actually conceals ‘the most impenetrable abyss within Western thought’. With this abyss, Lyotard refers to the point of departure of Judaism: the event in which a Voice has left behind letters, inaugurating an interminable work of interpretation. For Nancy, however, it is rather Christianity, and therefore, Western culture, which is deconstructive in nature. Its composition is co-original with a decomposition, and therefore, with an openness. In James, Nancy finds an emphasis on praxis, in such a way that existence is to be understood as transcendent within itself. With this reading of James, Nancy seems to deny that there is a fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity. In order to clarify the differences between Lyotard and Nancy, it is shown that, in Lyotard’s view, an unsublatable alterity comes with aisthèsis, whereas in Nancy’s view, alterity comes with existence as such. (shrink)
I write as a Jew who has come to see the Jewish and Christian religious movements as complementary, at least as each may be ideally envisioned. This complementarity does not entail the ‘supersession’ of Judaism or the negation of Judaism. It does not in any way imply that Jews should abandon Judaism. On the contrary, rightly seen it can lead to a greater affirmation of Judaism and of the teachings at Judaism's heart. In this article (...) I discuss the nature of this complementarity and argue that its recognition can help further and deepen the spiritual missions of both traditions. (shrink)
Fourteen essays by leading scholars from around the world explore the theological, philosophical, and historical connections between the three Abrahamic faiths and ethics. Timely reading for students of religion, philosophy, and ethics.
The majority of The Legend of the Middle Ages: Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam has been published previously in different forms, but this edition has been completely revised by the author, the well-known French medievalist and intellectual historian Rémi Brague. It was first published in French under the title Au moyen du Moyen Âge in 2006. The book consists of sixteen essays ranging from Brague’s early years at the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I) in the 1990s (...) up until 2005. As a collection of articles, therefore, The Legend of the Middle Ages is not designed to be a monograph; one should not expect a single argument from the book, although it does explore key intersections of medieval religion and philosophy that I will touch upon later. (shrink)
This collection of essays focuses on sacrifice in the context of Jewish and Christian scripture and is inspired by the thought and writings of Rene Girard. The contributors engage in a dialogue with Girard in their search for answers to key questions about the relation between religion and violence. The book is divided into two parts. The first opens with a conversation in which Rene Girard and Sandor Goodhart explore the relation between imitation and violence throughout human history, especially in (...) religious culture. It is followed by essays on the subject of sacrifice contributed by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field, including Bruce Chilton, Robert Daly, Louis Feldman, Michael Fishbane, Erich Gruen, and Alan Segal. The second part contains essays on specific scriptural texts. The authors explore new ways of applying Girardian analysis to episodes of sacrifice and scapegoating, demonstrating that fertile ground remains to further our understanding of violence in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. "In increasing numbers, scholars are turning to the mimetic theory espoused by Rene Girard in their research for answers to key questions about religion and violence. For the first time, the editors of this volume place in conversation with each other scholars who, from the perspective of Christian and Jewish traditions and scholarship, engage from the perspective of mimetic theory the sacrificial and antisacrificial features of ancient Judaism and early Christianity and explore their subsequent trajectories." --_Martha Reineke, University of Northern Iowa _. (shrink)
The evil of the holocaust demands a radical rethink of the traditional Christian understanding of Judaism. This does not mean jettisoning Christianity's deepest convictions in order to make it conform to Judaism. Rather, Richard Harries develops the work of recent Jewish scholarship to discern resonances between central Christian and Jewish beliefs. This thought-provoking book offers fresh approaches to contentious and sensitive issues. A key chapter on the nature of forgiveness is sympathetic to the Jewish charge that Christians (...) talk much too easily about forgiveness. Another chapter on suffering in Judaism and Christianity rejects the usual stereotypes and argues for important common ground, for example in the idea that God suffers in the suffering of his people. There are also chapters on the state of Israel and the place of Jerusalem in Christian and Jewish thought. Richard Harries argues that the basic covenant is not with either Judaism or Christianity but with humanity. These, like other religions, are different, distinctive voices in response to God's primal affirmation of human life, which for Christians is achieved and given in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the light of this the author maintains - controversially - that Christians should not be trying to convert Jews to Christianity. Rather Jews and Christians should stand together and build on the great amount they have in common to work together for a better world. (shrink)
This volume contains essays dealing with complex relationships between Judaism and Christianity, taking a bold step, assuming that no historical period can be excluded from the interactive process between Judaism and Christianity, conscious or unconscious, as either rejection or appropriation.
The notion that appeal to the Judaism contemporary with the writing of the New Testament documents will help solve exegetical problems has characteristically taken the form of an appeal to a Judaism that never existed; the practice should be abandoned.
With the passing of disputations between Jewish and Christian thinkers as to whose tradition has a more universal ethics, the task of Jewish and Christian ethicists is to constitute a universal horizon for their respective bodies of ethics, both of which are essentially particularistic being rooted in special revelation. This parallel project must avoid relativism that is essentially anti-ethical, and triumphalism that proposes an imperialist ethos. A retrieval of the idea of natural law in each respective tradition enables the constitution (...) of some intelligent common ground for ethical cooperation in both theory and practice between the traditions. This essay also suggests how the constitution of this common ground could include Muslims as well. The constitution of this common ground enables religious ethicists to present more cogent ethical arguments in secular space, but only of course, when those who now control secular space are open to arguments from members of any religious tradition. (shrink)